Ammianus’ Res Gestae deal with so-called barbarian peoples, Vandals, Goths, Persians, Huns and many others. This chapter surveys Ammianus’ comments on the Isaurians of southern Asia Minor, those classic ‘internal barbarians’ of the later Roman Empire. The prevailing ideology is best expressed by the Historia Augusta:

in short, since [the uprising of] Trebellianus, they have been considered as barbarians, for indeed their region, in the midst of Roman territory, is shut in by a new sort of defence, protected by the lie of the land (locis), not by men. For they are not handsome in stature, nor endowed with courage, nor drawn up in arms, nor wise in counsel, but they are secure because of this one feature; namely that by living on the heights, they cannot be approached.1